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Tanya Karen Gough owned and published The Poor Yorick Shakespeare Catalogue from 1997-2007, earning a strong international customer base of world class academics and high school educators. Tanya was also a contributing editor for the Internet Shakespeare Editions at the University of Victoria (BC) and audio advisor for the Sourcebooks Shakespeare textbook series. Tanya grew up in New Hampshire and currently lives in Toronto, Ontario.
on Feb. 23, 2013 :
When it comes to paranormal, otherworldly, supernatural, or just some kind a fantasy then I am in. And you all know I adore these genres the most, so of course after reading the summary for this book I was intrigued. Jumping the gun, I signed up and was excited to getting started! ^_^
I loved that this was about Brownies, basement Brownies, so I thought this would be fun and it was. In young adult we don’t usually get these kinds of creatures, it’s more known for children. Which is fine, I can read kid’s books if I want a little bit of their magic in my life and this book I believe is also great for all ages, but sometimes I forgot that this was a child as a main character. I forget that sometimes kids have to take care of themselves and their parents. I also forgot how mean kids can be, no matter what age they are. So sometimes I had to remind myself that she was a child and once I went, “Wow, you’re brave to be walking to school, alone, through an unknown town you just moved to.” Because, me, I don’t think that’s the best for kids. But that’s just my opinion.
But shoving that to the side of my brain, I let the magic and storytelling of Miss Gough take over me. From the beginning we got to see subtle hints of magic and it helped sucked me in. The house was alive, a witch looking person lived down the hall and she’s someone that wouldn’t leave Emma alone, the way the house sneezes, and the mystical light from that witches room are all signs that this is no usual place to live in and one place where Emma will get quite a surprise.
"She sneezed. She sneezed again. Then the house sneezed. She froze, another monstrous sneeze trapped in her nose. Everything around her seemed to freeze, too. Finally, she couldn’t hold it any longer, and she let out the most enormous sneeze she had ever sneezed, and at that same exact moment, the house sneezed too. And before she was able to even wonder what was happening, she heard a sudden clatter, like a bag of marbles rolling down the vent shaft."
When the brownies came into the picture I couldn’t help but become giddy with excitement. I felt like a little kid and I loved it! :D These four characters sure knew how to make me laugh. Honestly, I can’t pick which brownie I liked more. You have little Mat that thinks he knows all including all about humans though he has never met one, Truss whom is very motherly to Emma and the one that keeps the group under control, Pier who acts like a teenage boy whom can’t get over the fact that he missed breakfast cause Under zapped him up into Over to help Emma, and then Master Tect whom is constantly sleeping and in places that don’t always seem so comfortable to me, haha.
Now even though I did enjoy this there was something that started to bug me. This thing that bugged me formed slowly and in the end it’s one of the reasons why rated this book a four. Once again we have another book plot surrounded around Greek mythology. Now, don’t get me wrong I freaking adore Greek Mythology but it isn’t the only mythology that is out there, so can we please freshen up the mythology in our books. How about some Egyptian?
Overall, this was a great story especially for kids (so, it’s a great bedtime story for my readers whom are parents) and a good starter to a series. One that I can’t wait to continue!
(reviewed long after purchase)
on Feb. 20, 2013 :
Have you ever enjoyed reading The Chronicles of Narnia, Harry Potter or Alice in Wonderland, this is a book for you. I don’t really know what I expected from this story since I am not familiar with this author, but her writing had me surprised. I have really liked, I cannot say loved per se, this book but it is an interesting read, and if you like the world of fantasy and magic you should read this book. It is only the first in the Emma and Elementals series, but Gough gives a promising start.
The first half of the book deals with plain old human girl, Emma, her father musician, constant moving from home to home, a creepy old neighbor woman, the mean girls at the new school, you know, all the typical adolescence problems. However, the storyline picks up after Emma hears the house speaking and meets some brownies. Ha, and those are really cute little creatures from mythology. That had me thinking, finally something is happening that actually makes this book fantasy, and after I got a little more into the story, I could not put the book down. I have loved reading of prophecies, mythology, witches, magic and a whole intricate design of the Under, the world that Gough gives such an elaborate description of. Even though I found the first half to be a little strenuous, I developed the appreciation and understanding for it because of its interweaving with the magic world.
Gough complicates this fantasy into so many details that at times you can get lost and forget the meaning of it, but to an explorer brain like mine, reading this book proved a “real field trip”. Hopefully, you will feel the same, if you decide to read this book. Also, Emma as the protagonist is likeable enough in her grasping the magic world, even escaping into it, quite like I seem to escape in any book I can get my hands on. The basement brownies are simply charming little creatures that I developed instant love for.
Are you looking for a funny and easy fantasy novel? This is a story for you that will leave you anticipating and feeling anxious for what is to happen every step of Emma and the brownies’ adventure. Overall, I really like this story and its character, and think it an excellent escape read. Also, you know what?, this would be an excellent movie story!
(reviewed long after purchase)
on Sep. 16, 2012 :
Won the Ebook version in a giveaway, overall, I felt this lighthearted adventure fantasy story is a choice towards a younger preteen to teen audience. An all right story for this age bracket.
(review of free book)